Aggregates

Guide to Aggregate and its Supply and Delivery

aggregate stone

The construction industry can be a messy one and, as you might expect, to requires a lot of materials to get a job done. Whether it’s a small residential home or a sprawling megastructure, people are always surprised to learn of just how much material has gone into their construction.

Well, maybe this will help explain. According to experts at Pebble Pushers Gravel Co., a substantial part of the material that goes into any construction project will be utilized in setting up a strong foundation. Strong foundations are at the core of all successful building projects, and the materials used to create these foundations are referred to as aggregates.

They include such materials as gravel, limestone, sand, crushed stone, geosynthetics, slag, topsoil, and many more. It’s these that we want to take a look at here, to understand where we get them from, how we use them, and how we get them to every job site where they’re needed. Let’s get right into it.

Aggregate Mining and Extraction

aggregate stonesThe most common methods of harvesting these materials are the relatively straightforward methods of quarrying and open pit mining, which will usually involve some blasting and drilling. Only when such surface-level aggregates such as sand and gravel are considered will machinery like tractor-scrapers and draglines be used.

Once these raw aggregates are collected, they then move on to processing facilities where they are further broken down and sorted out into various categories, mostly dependent on size.

Aggregate Types and their Applications

1. Granite

This is considered one of the best aggregates for construction use due to its high strength, beauty, frost-resistance, and frequent occurrence. After it is processed into its various sizes, you will encounter granite in a wide variety of construction roles, including; driveways, garden landscaping, paving slabs, roads, concrete structures, and even large projects such as railways and dams.

2. Limestone

Also referred to as lime, this is also a standard component in road and building construction projects. Lime is derived from the crushing of naturally occurring calcium carbonate deposits in the earth.

3. Gravel

While somewhat inferior to granite and thus cheaper, its low radioactivity makes it a favorite construction material. You’ll find gravel in mainly two aggregate types referred to as scrabble stone (crushed or natural) and gravel (from riverbeds or the sea), and they are widely used in road construction as well as in structures with reinforced concrete.

pebble aggregate stones

4. Secondary Aggregates

These are created by crushing up the combined waste material of virgin aggregates and thus has no homogenous character of its own, but still has numerous applications such as providing road filler, soil reinforcement, and the maintenance of sidewalks and asphalt roads.

Getting On Site

Now, once all the processing and sorting is done, transporting aggregates to the job sites where they are needed is relatively straightforward. Tractor trailer rigs, trucks, pickup trucks, and haul trucks can handle virtually anything weighing up to 90 tons. The thing to do is to consult your aggregate supplier for their expert advice on what exactly would be most useful for your needs.